Robotic Surgery

The Human Genome Project and stem cell research will radically change the face of medicine. Now some North Texas heart surgeons are dramatically changing the hands of surgery . Dr. Michael Mack is operating what was the futuristic space-age technology 25 years ago. It seems straight from a fairy tale. A remote robot surgeon was originally developed by NASA to operate on astronauts circling the earth while the doctor was firmly planted on the ground. Funding dried up for the original project. Now, several prototypes later, Dr. Mack and a group of North Texas surgeons are bringing cutting edge surgical technology to North Texas. "If we never stop the heart, never divide the breastbone, all of a sudden bypass surgery has become more patient friendly," said cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Mack. Zeus helps the surgeon control the tiny instruments with a high degree of accuracy. "When you go to a microsurgery level, in which you need the magnification level that's given through a scope like this, and you're using instruments that are this long rather than this long, the human hand isn't steady enough to perform the precision tasks necessary to do it," said Mack. "But, if we've got a robotic arm that can hold that "pencil" much more steady and we can control that precision, that's the rational behind Zeus," he added. The other part of the system is called Aeop (eee-sop).It's a high-tech endoscope which serves as the eyes of the surgeon. What makes this system different from other endoscopes is it's voice operated. Aesop responds only to the voice of the surgeon sitting at teh console.